PlexTrac raises $10M Series A round for its collaboration-centric security platform

PlexTrac, a Boise, ID-based security service that aims to provide a unified workflow automation platform for red and blue teams, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series A funding round led by Noro-Moseley Partners and Madrona Venture Group. StageDot0 ventures also participated in this round, which the company plans to use to build out its team and grow its platform.

With this new round, the company, which was founded in 2018, has now raised a total of $11 million, with StageDot0 leading its 2019 seed round.

PlexTrac CEO and President Dan DeCloss

PlexTrac CEO and President Dan DeCloss

“I have been on both sides of the fence, the specialist who comes in and does the assessment, produces that 300-page report and then comes back a year later to find that some of the critical issues had not been addressed at all.  And not because the organization didn’t want to but because it was lost in that report,” PlexTrac CEO and President Dan DeCloss said. “These are some of the most critical findings for an entity from a risk perspective. By making it collaborative, both red and blue teams are united on the same goal we all share, to protect the network and assets.”

With an extensive career in security that included time as a penetration tester for Veracode and the Mayo Clinic, as well as senior information security advisor for Anthem, among other roles, DeCloss has quite a bit of first-hand experience that led him to found PlexTrac. Specifically, he believes that it’s important to break down the wall between offense-focused red teams and defense-centric blue teams.

Image Credits: PlexTrac

 

 

“Historically there has been more of the cloak and dagger relationship but those walls are breaking down– and rightfully so, there isn’t that much of that mentality today– people recognize they are on the same mission whether they are internal security team or an external team,” he said. “With the PlexTrac platform the red and blue teams have a better view into the other teams’ tactics and techniques – and it makes the whole process into an educational exercise for everyone.”

At its core, PlexTrac makes it easier for security teams to produce their reports — and hence free them up to actually focus on ‘real’ security work. To do so, the service integrates with most of the popular scanners like Qualys, and Veracode, but also tools like ServiceNow and Jira in order to help teams coordinate their workflows. All the data flows into real-time reports that then help teams monitor their security posture. The service also features a dedicated tool, WriteupsDB, for managing reusable write-ups to help teams deliver consistent reports for a variety of audiences.

“Current tools for planning, executing, and reporting on security testing workflows are either nonexistent (manual reporting, spreadsheets, documents, etc…) or exist as largely incomplete features of legacy platforms,” Madrona’s S. Somasegar and Chris Picardo write in today’s announcement. “The pain point for security teams is real and PlexTrac is able to streamline their workflows, save time, and greatly improve output quality. These teams are on the leading edge of attempting to find and exploit vulnerabilities (red teams) and defend and/or eliminate threats (blue teams).”

 

#cloud-applications, #computer-security, #computing, #enterprise, #information-technology, #madrona-venture-group, #mayo-clinic, #noro-moseley-partners, #qualys, #recent-funding, #red-team, #security, #servicenow, #startups

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K Health expands into virtual childcare and raises $132 million at a $1.5 billion valuation

K Health, the virtual health care provider that uses machine learning to lower the cost of care by providing the bulk of the company’s health assessments, is launching new tools for childcare on the heels of raising cash that values the company at $1.5 billion.

The $132 million round raised in December will help the company expand and help pay for upgrades including an integration with most electronic health records — an integration that’s expected by the second quarter.

Throughout 2020 K Health has leveraged its position operating at the intersection of machine learning and consumer healthcare to raised $222 million in a single year.

This appetite from investors shows how large the opportunity is in consumer healthcare as companies look to use technology to make care more affordable.

For K Health, that means a monthly subscription to its service of $9 for unlimited access to the service and physicians on the platform, as well as a $19 per-month virtual mental health offering and a $19 fee for a one-time urgent care consultation.

To patients and investors the pitch is that the data K Health has managed to acquire through partnerships with organizations like the Israel health maintenance organization Maccabi Healthcare Services, which gave up decades of anonymized data on patients and health outcomes to train K Health’s predictive algorithm, can assess patients and aid the in diagnoses for the company’s doctors.

In theory that means the company’s service essentially acts as a virtual primary care physician, holding a wealth of patient information that, when taken together, might be able to spot underlying medical conditions faster or provide a more holistic view into patient care.

For pharmaceutical companies that could mean insights into population health that could be potentially profitable avenues for drug discovery.

In practice, patients get what they pay for.

The company’s mental health offering uses medical doctors who are not licensed psychiatrists to perform their evaluations and assessments, according to one provider on the platform, which can lead to interactions with untrained physicians that can cause more harm than good.

While company chief executive Allon Bloch is likely correct in his assessment that most services can be performed remotely (Bloch puts the figure at 90%), they should be performed remotely by professionals who have the necessary training.

There are limits to how much heavy lifting an algorithm or a generalist should do when it comes to healthcare, and it appears that K Health wants to push those limits.

“Drug referrals, acute issues, prevention issues, most of those can be done remotely,” Bloch said. “There’s an opportunity to do much better and potentially cheaper. 

K Health has already seen hundreds of thousands of patients either through its urgent care offering or its subscription service and generated tens of millions in revenue in 2020, according to Bloch. He declined to disclose how many patients used the urgent care service vs. the monthly subscription offering.

Telemedicine companies, like other companies providing services remotely, have thrived during the pandemic. Teladoc and Amwell, two of the early pioneers in virtual medicine have seen their share prices soar. Companies like Hims, that provide prescriptions for elective conditions that aren’t necessarily covered by health, special purpose acquisition companies at valuations of $1.6 billion.

Backing K Health are a group of investors led by GGV Capital and Valor Equity Partners. Kaiser Permanente’s pension fund and the investment offices of the owners of 3G Capital (the Brazilian investment firm that owns Burger King and Kraft Heinz), along with 14W, Max Ventures, Pico Partners, Marcy Venture Partners, Primary Venture Partners and BoxGroup, also participated in the round. 

Organizations working with the company include Maccabi Healthcare; the Mayo Clinic, which is investigating virtual care models with the company; and Anthem, which has white labeled the K Health service and provides it to some of the insurer’s millions of members.

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Tech and health companies including Microsoft and Salesforce team up on digital COVID-19 vaccination records

A new cross-industry initiative is seeking to establish a standard for digital vaccination records that can be used universally to identify COVID-19 vaccination status for individuals, in a way that can be both secure via encryption and traceable and verifiable for trustworthiness regarding their contents. The so-called ‘Vaccination Credential Initiative’ includes a range of big-name companies from both the healthcare and the tech industry, including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce and Epic, as well as the Mayo Clinic, Safe Health, Change Healthcare and the CARIN Alliance to name a few.

The effort is beginning with existing, recognized standards already in use in digital healthcare programs, like the SMART Health Cards specification, which adheres to HL7 FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) which is a standard created for use in digital health records to make them interoperable between providers. The final product that the initiative aims to establish is an “encrypted digital copy of their immunization credentials to store in a digital wallet of their choice,” with a backup available as a printed QR code that includes W3C-standards verifiable credentials for individuals who don’t own or prefer not to use smartphones.

Vaccination credentials aren’t a new thing – they’ve existed in some form or another since the 1700s. But their use and history is also mired in controversy and accusations of inequity, since this is human beings we’re dealing with. And already with COVID-19, there efforts underway to make access to certain geographies dependent upon negative COVID-19 test results (though such results don’t actually guarantee that an individual doesn’t actually have COVID-19 or won’t transfer it to others).

A recent initiative by LA County specifically also is already providing digital immunization records to individuals via a partnership with Healthvana, facilitated by Apple’s Wallet technology. But Healthvana’s CEO and founder was explicit in telling me that that isn’t about providing a proof of immunity for use in deterring an individual’s social or geographic access. Instead, it’s about informing and supporting patients for optimal care outcomes.

It sounds like this initiative is much more about using a COVID-19 immunization record as a literal passport of sorts. It’s right in the name of the initiative, for once (‘Credential’ is pretty explicit). The companies involved also at least seem cognizant of the potential pitfalls of such a program, as MITRE’s chief digital health physician Dr. Brian Anderson said that “we are working to ensure that underserved populations have access to this verification,” and added that “just as COVID-19 does not discriminate based on socio-economic status, we must ensure that convenient access to records crosses the digital divide.”

Other quotes from Oracle and Salesforce, and additional member leaders confirm that the effort is focused on fostering a reopening of social and ecomicn activity, including “resuming travel,” get[ting] back to public life,” and “get[ting] concerts and sporting events going again.” Safe Health also says that they’ll help facility a “privacy-preserving health status verification” solution that is at least in part “blockchain-enabled.”

Given the urgency of solutions that can lead to a safe re-opening, and a way to keep tabs on the massive, global vaccination program that’s already underway, it makes sense that a modern approach would include a digital version of historic vaccination record systems. But such an approach, while it leverages new conveniences and modes made possible by smartphones and the internet, also opens itself up to new potential pitfalls and risks that will no doubt be highly scrutinized, particularly by public interest groups focused on privacy and equitable treatment.

#articles, #ceo, #encryption, #epic, #health, #healthcare, #healthvana, #mayo-clinic, #microsoft, #oracle, #regulation, #salesforce, #smartphones, #standards, #tc, #vaccination

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Connecting employer healthcare plans to surgical centers of excellence nets Carrum Health $40 million

Six years after launching its service linking employer-sponsored insurance plans with surgical centers of excellence, the Carrum Health has raised $40 million in a new round of financing to capitalize on tailwinds propelling its business forward. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic exposes cracks in the U.S. healthcare system, one of the ways that employers have tried to manage the significant costs of insuring employees is by taking on the management of care themselves.

As they shoulder more of the burden, companies like Carrum, which offer servies that manage some of the necessary points of care for businesses, at lower costs, are becoming increasingly attractive targets for investors.

That’s why Carrum was able to attract investors led by Tiger Global Management, GreatPoint Ventures, and Cross Creek, all firms that joined returning investors Wildcat Venture Partners and SpringRock Ventures in backing the company’s Series A round.

Carrum said the money will go towards sales and marketing to more customers, adding more services and improving its existing technology stack.

Carrum uses machine learning to collect and analyze data on surgical outcomes and care to identify what it considers to be surgical centers of excellence across the U.S.

The company offers self-insured employers the opportunity to buy services directly from surgical centers for a bundled price. That can mean savings of up to 50% on surgical expenses.

Using Carrum, there are no co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance. Instead, Carrum Health’s customers pay a fee and in return receive a 30-day warranty on procedures, meaning that the healthcare provider will cover any costs associated with care from botched operations or complications.

Employees have access to a mobile applications that gives them access to virtual care before, during, and after surgeries.

“For years, the industry has talked about redesigning healthcare to benefit patients, but the only way to really do that is to tackle the underlying economics of care, a truly difficult task,” said Sach Jain, CEO and founder of Carrum Health, in a statement. “Employers now have a modern, technology-driven solution to help patients get better care without financial headache and we’re not stopping at surgery. In 2021 we’ll be expanding our reach and impact with additional services. It’s such an honor to pave the way for a better healthcare future and we’re so excited for what’s to come.”

Carrum Health’s customers include Quest Diagnostics, US Foods, and other, undisclosed organizations in retail, manufacturing, communications and insurance, the company said.

Centers of excellence on the platform include Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Mayo Clinic, and Tenet Healthcare .

 

#greatpoint-ventures, #healthcare, #machine-learning, #manufacturing, #mayo-clinic, #surgery, #tc, #tiger-global-management, #united-states

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A Top Equestrian Paralyzed in an Accident Sees Hope in a Coming Treatment

Kevin Babington was a go-to coach in the sport of show jumping, but an accident at a prime event left him paralyzed from the chest down and threatened his livelihood.

#babington-kevin, #bridgehampton-ny, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #horsemanship-and-equestrian-events, #horses, #mayo-clinic, #olympic-games-2020, #paralysis, #spine-body-part

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Under Pence, Politics Regularly Seeped Into the Coronavirus Task Force

In taking a leading role in managing the White House’s response to the pandemic, the vice president and his team had an agenda that extended beyond public health.

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #mayo-clinic, #pence-mike, #presidential-election-of-2020, #redfield-robert-r, #short-marc, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Trump Pressed for a Plasma Treatment. Officials Worry, Is a Vaccine Next?

New details of how the president has demanded faster action from health agencies help explain the intensifying concern that he could demand pre-Election Day approval of a vaccine.

#azar-alex-m-ii, #birx-deborah-l, #blood, #clinical-trials, #collins-francis-s, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #food-and-drug-administration, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #health-and-human-services-department, #kushner-jared, #marks-peter, #mayo-clinic, #meadows-mark-r-1959, #national-institutes-of-health, #presidential-election-of-2020, #republican-national-convention, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #vaccination-and-immunization

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Meet the New Caregiver: Your Home

New technology is allowing homeowners who can afford it to outfit their bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms with tools to monitor their health.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delos-living-llc, #home-automation-and-smart-homes, #mayo-clinic, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #telemedicine

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As Trump Praises Plasma, Researchers Struggle to Finish Critical Studies

Thousands of Covid-19 patients have been treated with blood plasma outside of rigorous clinical trials — hampering research that would have shown whether the therapy worked.

#american-red-cross, #blood-donation, #brigham-and-womens-hospital, #clinical-trials, #columbia-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #epidemics, #food-and-drug-administration, #guerrero-elliott-bennett, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #health-and-human-services-department, #hospitals, #johnson-dwayne-1972, #lipkin-w-ian, #mayo-clinic, #medicine-and-health, #research, #trump-donald-j, #your-feed-science

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Does Blood Plasma Work for Covid-19 Patients? No One Knows.

Thousands of Covid-19 patients have been treated with blood plasma outside of rigorous clinical trials — hampering research that would have showed whether the therapy worked.

#american-red-cross, #blood-donation, #brigham-and-womens-hospital, #clinical-trials, #columbia-university, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #epidemics, #food-and-drug-administration, #guerrero-elliott-bennett, #hahn-stephen-m-1960, #health-and-human-services-department, #hospitals, #johnson-dwayne-1972, #lipkin-w-ian, #mayo-clinic, #medicine-and-health, #research, #trump-donald-j, #your-feed-science

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Old Vaccines May Stop the Coronavirus, Study Hints. Scientists Are Skeptical.

Certain vaccines may provide broad protection against infections. But new research doesn’t prove these vaccines can turn back the coronavirus, experts said.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #immune-system, #mayo-clinic, #vaccination-and-immunization, #your-feed-science

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Withings raises $60 million to bridge the gap between consumer tech and healthcare providers

Since being re-acquired from Nokia in 2018 by a group including its original founders and some of its original investors, health tech company Withings has been focused on evolving their offering of consumer health hardware to provide medical-grade data that can be shared with, and leveraged by healthcare professionals to deliver better, more personalized care. The company has now raised another $60 million to continue pursuing that goal, a Series B funding round co-led by Glide Healthcare, along with existing Withings investors IDinvest Partners, Bpfrance and BNP Paribas Développement, ODDO BHF and Adelle Capital.

Withings will use the funds to ramp up its MED PRO division, a part of the business formed last year that focuses on the company’s B2B efforts, placing its medical-grade consumer health devices in programs and deployments managed by medical professionals, health institutions, insurance payers, researchers and more.

In an interview, Withings CEO Mathieu Letombe explained that following the re-acquisition of the company, the team set out to “pivot slightly” in regards: First, the company would only focus on medical grade products and services from here on out, something that Letombe said was done at least in part because of how crowded the general ‘wellness’ tech category has become, and in part because players like Apple had really, in their view, made the most of that category with their Apple Watch and other health features.

The second was to shift on their business side to better address the B2B market – primarily due to inbound requests to do so.

“We were getting a lot of requests from the healthcare industry,” Letombe told me. “And by the healthcare industry I mean major healthcare programs, like the diabetes prevention program, the hypertension program. Also hospitals, insurers and Pharma, so we decided to dig into it and we saw the there was a huge demand for medical connected devices from this world.”

According to Letombe, Withings was well-positioned to address this need, and had an advantage over other traditional medical device suppliers for enterprise and industry. The company’s DNA was in building accurate, user-friendly devices to help them keep an eye on their wellbeing at home, and so they put their focus on evolving those products so that the results they provide pass the standards of governing medical device regulatory bodies around the world.

Withings’ special advantage in this pursuit was that it knew very well how to build products that customers want to use, and have opted to pay out of pocket for in the past. Most medical equipment for at-home monitoring that comes from a payer or a healthcare institution hasn’t had to face the challenges and focusing rigor of the consumer technology market, and it’s foisted upon users, not selected by them from a field of choices. Letombe says that this consumer edge is what has helped Withings with its B2B business, and notes that both sides of the market will continue to be of equal importance to the company going forward.

The company had been turning its attention to building out a suite of products, from smart blood pressure monitors, to scales that measure body fat percentage, to contactless thermometers and much more, long before there was any hint of the current COVID-19 pandemic, obviously. But that demand from the healthcare industry has stepped up considerably in the wake of the coronavirus, which has accelerated plans from insurers, care providers and healthcare pros to develop and deploy remote care capabilities and services.

“We also got a ton of requests from a company that wanted to create back-to-work packages, were there was a thermometer or a scale or blood pressure monitor for them to help the employee understand if they are at risk for COVID,” Letombe said, noting that the B2B opportunities the company has seen extend beyond the healthcare industry itself.

Image Credits: Withings

To assist with its new medical B2B focus, Withings has also formed a Medical Advisory Board, which Letombe says they’ve actually been working with for a year but that they’re only announcing publicly alongside this funding. The board includes Mayo Clinic Platform President Dr. John Halamka, former head of Clinical Pharmacology in Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou Dr. Stéphane Laurent, and former head of Clinical Innovation at Pfizer Craig Lipset – top medical professionals across respected institutions and one of the largest therapeutics companies in the world.

Letombe notes that Withings also has a number of medical physicians and professionals on staff, as well as a psychologist and a physicist, and so they’re involved in building the products themselves throughout their design and creation, rather than just validating their results after the fact.

Withings would seem to be in a great position to address not only the growing need for connected medical monitoring tools, but also to understand exactly what makes those products work for consumers, and become something they actively want to use as part of their lifestyle. This new $60 million round is a vote of confidence in that strategy, and in its ability to become something bigger and still more ambitious.

#apple, #biotech, #bnp-paribas, #ceo, #companies, #diabetes, #forward, #fundings-exits, #hardware, #health, #healthcare-industry, #hypertension, #idinvest-partners, #mayo-clinic, #medical-device, #nokia, #pfizer, #president, #science, #tc, #technology, #withings

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The Coronavirus Pandemic’s Needless Deaths

Seriously ill people avoided hospitals and doctors’ offices. Patients need to return. It’s safe now.

#cleveland-clinic, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #heart, #hospitals, #mayo-clinic, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #stroke, #telemedicine

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Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions

Dozens of top recipients of government aid have laid off, furloughed or cut the pay of tens of thousands of employees.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #entwistle-david, #executive-compensation, #hazen-samuel-n, #hca-holdings-inc, #hospitals, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #mayo-clinic, #national-nurses-united, #providence-healthservices, #rittenmeyer-ronald-a, #stanford-university, #tenet-healthcare-corporation

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Hospitals Knew How to Make Money. Then Coronavirus Happened.

Surgeries are canceled. Business models are shifting. Some of the hardest-hit hospitals may close, leaving patients with fewer options for care.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-2020, #hospitals, #layoffs-and-job-reductions, #mayo-clinic, #medicaid, #medicare, #new-york-presbyterian-hospital, #patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-2010, #rural-areas

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During This Coronavirus Crisis, Why Won’t Trump Wear a Mask?

He won’t wear a mask, fearing it will project weakness and defeat. Who does he think he’s fooling?

#centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #fauci-anthony-s, #masks, #mayo-clinic, #miller-katie-rose, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Mike Pence Wears Face Mask on Visit to Indiana Ventilator Plant

The vice president had been sharply criticized for visiting the Mayo Clinic this week and violating its requirement to wear one.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #defense-production-act, #general-motors, #indiana, #masks, #mayo-clinic, #pence-karen-1957, #pence-mike, #trump-donald-j, #ventilators-medical

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Maskless Mike Pence

Readers are disturbed that the vice president would set such a bad example while visiting the Mayo Clinic. Also: The president at West Point; how universities struggle during the crisis.

#colleges-and-universities, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #endowments, #mayo-clinic, #pence-mike, #united-states-military-academy, #united-states-politics-and-government

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